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When a natural disaster strikes Ames, community leaders will be able to react better to the emergency.

Over the last few decades, Ames has seen Squaw Creek flow out of its banks several times. Now the city is better equipped to help flood victims with a new Emergency Operations Center.

“Most of the time what we deal with in Ames, at least when we get the EOC up and running, is due to flooding which we tend to get from time to time,” says Geoff Huff with the Ames Police Department.

Over the past year, City Hall underwent $1 million in remodeling. More than half of the funding came from a Homeland Security grant.

The new Emergency Operations Center allows multiple departments and agencies to meet and coordinate a community response. New monitors will provide leaders with up-to-date information

“With this new facility, we do have the ability to stream some video it’s a lot easier than it used to be to do that, so we can have some people out in the field. That gives decision makers the opportunity to make better decisions,” says Huff.

The Emergency Operations Center is also used as a briefing room for police.

The public is invited to visit the new EOC at city hall Friday. The open house runs from noon to 2:00 p.m.